SIEM / Spaces of International Economy and Management

Events & Conferences

Contact information

Professor Dr. Rolf D. Schlunze

Humboldt University of Berlin, Department of Economic Geography / Ritsumeikan University, College of Business Administration

Manager training events

Intercultural Competence - Workshop for Collaborative Development between Foreign Managers and RU Business Administration Students

A workshop on intercultural competence was held at Epoch 21 at Ritsumeikan University BKC from Saturday morning, 15th November to Sunday noon, 16th November 2008. The idea of the workshop was to enable an exchange of information and opinions between foreign international managers and Japanese students that wish to be employed by foreign multinational enterprises. However, the workshop was much more international due to the participation for foreign students. The workshop was opened by the consultant, Mr. Claas Riese. He guided the participants to conduct a self-analysis searching for successful adjustment strategies. Presentations of five invited international managers followed. Ms. Tomoko Ohmae the head of an American pharmaceutical company was the first speaker. Foreign mangers, such as Mr. Raymond R.Tait (Swissôtel NANKAI), Mr. Michael A. Loefflad (Wuerth), and Dr. Andreas Stange (TUV SUD) introduced their their experiences in the intercultural workplace. Mr. Nabil Khan (SB Assets Management) gave an interesting lecture about cultural differences in his Mexican and Japanese workplace referring to Hofstede a leading scientist in Cross-cultural management. After a lunch break students interviewed the managers. They presented their results the next morning. Will Baber concluded that an important core strategy to develop intercultural competence is to find a reliable informant. Prof. Dr. Rolf D. Schlunze proposed that foreign managers and local employees need to create a hybrid culture enabling to every party to contribute fully in the corporate decision making process. Claas Riese concluded that the search for success strategies is also a search for one`s own personality.
The feedback from our students was very good. Asking them what was most interesting for you about the workshop? They replied that they enjoyed the time when talking and exchanging ideas in an informal and relaxed manner. They reported that they made a new discovery. A student from New Zealand found it interesting that all managers have different ideas and approaches to succeed in the international business. Japanese students realized that having a different culture can be an advantage in negotiation. They learnt that sometimes conflicts are a necessary to make a good relationship with foreigners. Female students appreciated the good advice from the female senior manager about how to work as a woman in a Western company. Some students found it difficult to interview in English, but saw it as a very special learning experience. Our visiting French students enjoyed this seminar and praised it as a good idea. The presentations of the manager and the final discussion about adjustment strategies in the intercultural workplace were appreciated by all students.

Organizer team:
Prof. Rolf D. Schlunze (Ritsumeikan Univ.)
Claas Riese (Aspire Communication)
Will Baber (Ritsumeikan Univ.)